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Sweeeeeeden

It's time for an official announcement of the project I've been working on for a while now, a Gameboy cartridge flasher. The flasher will be manufactured and sold by ASM Retro and is expected to be released in the spring of 2014. Here's a description of the project.

The hardware

Although the hardware has a heritage to the existing "Polish student" GB cart flasher, I have remade the schematic and board layout as well as the firmware from the ground up. ALTANE is using a pin compatible but more powerful microcontroller. One focus for the flasher has been reprogrammability of the device's firmware. The FTDI chip has been connected to the microcontroller to allow full SPI programming of the chip, and the flasher comes with a bootloader which allows quick and easy firmware upgrades.

The firmware

The firmware is written to be smart about things. The final version will contain an algorithm which only erases and reprograms the flash sectors that need to be reprogrammed. This means that if you upgrade LSDj to a newer version, the sectors that contain kits won't have to be reprogrammed because they don't change between versions. Likewise, new kits could be programmed directly into the ROM, without having to reprogram the whole ROM.

Software and drivers

ALTANE is using a FT232 serial chip, which means that there are problem-free drivers (from FTDI) for just about every operating system. The client software is written in Python and will run equally well on all three platforms. (I'm currently developing it on Windows and Linux, but Mac support should not be a problem.) More information coming later.

Supported cartridges

One of my goals with this project is to support cartridges which are currently difficult to flash. Of course, it supports cartridges with an AM29F00x flash chip, more known under names like Bl**p Bl**p, Smartboy and Fighter Cart. ALTANE can also program the older blue EMS cartridges, which might see a bit of a revival because of this. It can also program the Nanoloop One flat cartridge. The crown jewel in programming support, in my opinion, is the white Nintendo Power cartridge. My goal is to support any and all cartridges that can be reprogrammed via the edge connector. If you have a rare/old flash cartridge that you can't progam due to obsolete LPT port flashing harware, I can hopefully help you if you lend me the cartridge for a while.

Case

ASM Retro will be handling most of the manufacturing and sales of ALTANE, as well as contributing with case design. The case has a sleek DMG resemblance and will be color-matched with the DMG's grey shell colour.

Information page: http://altane.gg8.se/
Currently being sold here: https://gameboylife.com/products/altane

Last edited by nitro2k01 (Jul 18, 2017 3:10 am)

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hardcore, Australia

Wooo.

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United Kingdom

Nitro you're awesome. Looks great and good concept!

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france

It look greats !

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reject of nintendoage

amaze!

any estimates about pricing yet?

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Matthew Joseph Payne

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Sweeeeeeden
shizcake wrote:

amaze!

any estimates about pricing yet?

Sorry, too early to say. It all comes down to the production costs (including the case.)

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bed

Wow this is awesome. Nintendo power support is crazy! Can't wait to hear more!!

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this is rad Rad RAD r a d R A D RAD  RAD!

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Brooklyn NY US

Holy shit, amazing. Don't mean to overreach but "while you're at it" -- begging for SRAM read/write support for earlier 1.x versions of Nanoloop.

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BLACK BY POPULAR DEMAND

Now thats what i call a flasher!
simple yet elegant as shit.

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Brighton
nitro2k01 wrote:

ALTANE can also program the older blue EMS cartridges, which might see a bit of a revival because of this.

Rad. Got one I can't write to right now.

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Utah

Looks slick.

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Easton, PA, USA

drool

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Unsubscribe

This is brilliant.

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Abandoned On Fire

When you say it can do nano one carts do you mean the a and b sections or the main ROM?

Either way this sounds great!